Editor’s Note: Alyssa Berg joined the Comics Workbook crew at CXC 2016 as one of our workshop leaders. Comics Workbook hosted four sessions over the course of the festival, and Alyssa presented on her process, her painted comics, and her use of the 4- and 9-panel grids. She led an exercise using the 4- and 9-panel grids that challenged and excited the attending comics makers, including students from the Columbus College of Art and Design.
A video from the exercise she led:
And now, the rest of Alyssa’s CXC experience in her own words.
My First Con
At the airport on my way home from Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, I bought a legal pad because I had accidentally checked my sketchbook in my suitcase. I wanted to record all of the details from my four days in Columbus ASAP – I didn’t want to forget any of the moments that made CXC such a wonderful experience. Over the past week I have been able to zoom-out and see what shaped many of my positive experiences: access to comics history and connecting with the comics community.
Upon arrival in Columbus, my first stop was the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. I appreciated having a couple days pre-expo to enjoy the reading room, archive and museum. The Winsor McCay exhibit was stunning. On the archive tour, it was amazing to be standing inside the chilly room filled with flat files, books and boxes that house the world’s largest cartoon & comics collection. I was able to see some rare gems at the Billy Ireland.
CXC was my first time taking part in a convention and I was struck by the spirit of the greater comics community. The people – comics-makers, event organizers, curators, publishers, students, teachers, librarians, and volunteers – all came together to celebrate comics and create an open and interesting atmosphere filled with great energy. There was a variety of events (including, of course, the book expo held over the weekend in the beautiful Columbus Metropolitan Library) where I had the pleasure of connecting and having conversations with many lovely comics-humans, including the Comics Workbook crew. Some strong bonds were formed, and I’m especially grateful for that.
Thank you to the organizers of CXC for hosting such a great event, thank you to the staff and volunteers at both the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum & Library and the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Also a big thank you to Frank Santoro at Comics Workbook for sending me to CXC with the CW crew.
Alyssa Berg makes comics in Brooklyn, NY. You can find her work HERE.